Damascus entity rounds up those suspected of opposing regime

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in YerevanImage by PanARMENIAN_Photo via Flickr

Security forces raided homes across Syria on Sunday arresting regime opponents, according to activists, as funerals were held for people killed in a bloody crackdown on protests.

Students meanwhile called for a strike and two MPs resigned after at least 13 mourners were shot dead Saturday when Syrians swarmed the streets to bury scores of demonstrators killed in protests the previous day.

And Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations to probe the "carnage" from the massive "Good Friday" demonstrations and called for sanctions to be slapped on Syrian officials responsible for the killings.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens of people were arrested in northern Syria on Friday, just a day after President Bashar al-Assad had lifted decades of emergency rule.

It gave the names of 18 men who were rounded up in the northern cities of Idlib, Raqqa and Aleppo, but said "dozens more were arrested in other Syrian towns."

Witnesses and activists said several people were also rounded up in and around Damascus but could not give exact numbers.

Syrian authorities "continue to carry out arbitrary arrests despite the lifting of emergency rule," the Observatory said in a statement, urging the release of political prisoners and a probe into Friday's killings.

The emergency decrees were lifted in form only. In substance the Damascus entity is still a totalitarian dictatorship that ignores the rule of law when it survival is at stake. It views the people of Syria as an existential threat.

The regime appears to be following the Iranian method of suppression of the will of the people, but the murder of the demonstrators is begetting next day demonstrations and not compliance with the will of the state.
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